Thursday, July 23, 2015

Big Habitat + AmEx Offers for You = Cash Money

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Just like everyone else, when the AmEx offer of $100 of a $599 purchase at Dell came out, I was looking to milk it.  That's $100 off $600.  This should be easy, right!  Gift Cards, of course!  Even if break even, you get $500 of credit spending and maybe you throw in a portal bonus and you're swimming in money.

Well, here is what happened last night when I checked.

What is the resale value of Dell Gift Cards?  According to Gift Card Wiki, a number of resellers were buying them at 85%.

$100 off $600 is 16.67%.  Too Easy!  You even make money on the sale.  Then I found out that you can even pay with 2 credit cards at once.  Even better, checkout in half the time!  Not so fast.

Look at the price when you add $600 of gift cards to your order:

$642!  Taxes, on a gift card!  What's going on!?  That kills the whole deal.

So, time to move on and figure out merchandise to buy.

Big Habitat had a great post recently about buying TV's from Dell with large promotional eGift Cards associated with them.  The promotional eGift Cards must be used within 90 days of earning them but can give you great value when used properly.

Admittedly, I have never done this, but I thought we might be able to use BH's idea and squeeze out even more profit because of the new AmEx offer.

We need to get to $599 so let's keep our eye on the prize.

One of his suggestions is this TV from Samsung.  It costs $247 and comes with a $125 promotional eGift card. It sells for the same price on Amazon, but it has to be sold as "like-new."  Big Habitat thinks it can be sold as "like new" for about $230.  Takehome is about $200 after fees.  Ok good start.

We could buy another one, that will get us almost the entire way there, but still leave us short.  You would be at about $500.  I also am not sure if you will get 2 promotional eGift Cards or just 1.

So what can we do for the last $100?

How about a Tablet?  The Dell Venue 8 Pro 3000 Series 32 GB is on sale for $99 from $199.  The same Tablet sells on Amazon for $130, it can be sold as new and you can probably sell it for about $125.  Your takehome would be about $110 which just about breaks even after taxes and shipping.  Breaking even here is a very good thing.

The problem is that it is ranked 1,015 in computers so it might be a slow sale.

So here is our shopping cart:

Alright, we hit $600.

Once the AmEx offer hits, our price drops to $536.84 (your price will be different based on your tax)

Final math?

After selling everything you come away with ~$510 and one or two $125 Promo eGift Cards

Let's juice it up a little bit

Discover Deals is paying out 10% on purchases at Dell.  That's about $59.50 now and $59.50 in 13 statements if you are enrolled in the Discover Double promotion.

If you are afraid of a clawback from Discover Deals, you can use Be Frugal which will earn you 5.5% cashback, that's about $32.

Also, Dell allows you to use multiple credit cards so you could put $600 on your AmEx and the rest on Discover.

You should also qualify for 5% in Dell Advantage Rewards which would equal ~$30 of a promotional eGift Card.

Remember you also get $500 of credit spending which is worth at least $5.

Your Haul
Cash - -$25 or so
Portal - $108
Dell Advantage Rewards - ~$30
$125 ePromo code (maybe x2)